More at SCCC

Art Gallery Exhibit with artist Bill Westheimer

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Janet Taylor PickettArt Gallery Featured Image 150x150 Art Gallery Opening Reception: October 21, 6 pm
Art Gallery Showing: October 21 through November 25

Sussex County Community College is delighted to announce MANUAL: The Personalities of Hands at the Art Gallery in C building Friday, October 21 through Friday, November 25. Bill Westheimer will be signing his book during the Opening Reception on Friday, October 21 at 6:00 pm, all are welcome to attend.

MANUAL: The Personalities of Hands is a fine art exhibition and a book of portraits with a twist: personal stories and private secrets told through images of hands. Readers witness the diverse range of humanity through photographs and photograms of hands rather than traditional pictures of faces. Westheimer has captured the hands of 150 people from diverse walks of life, including a priest, rock star, trapeze artist, mentalist and politician. 78 of the portraits appear in the 96 page full color book. 

Since making his first photograph at age 14, Westheimer has been fascinated with alternative processes including holography, solarization, and high contrast imagery. At Union College Bill studied with noted painter and educator Arnold Bittelman. He continued with his experiments in photography and experimental image making while completing college.

Additionally, he studied with Jerry Burchfield who introduced him to color photograms and Cibachrome (Ilfochrome) printing. Bill went on to teach Cibachrome printing at Colorado Mountain College in Aspen. He learned the 19thcentury technique of collodion glass plate photography from the leading experts in the field: France Scully and Mark Osterman. His works are exhibited in galleries and museums worldwide.

Veteran’s Fish ‘n’ Chips Dinner

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fishnchips with text smSaturday, November 19
6:00 to 8:00 pm
Sussex County Community College

Sussex County Community College’s Department of Veteran Services will be hosting a Fish & Chips Dinner by Tastefully British. Tickets may be purchased at SCCC’s Veteran’s Resource Center, Bursar’s Office or online, $20 for adults, $15 Veterans & Students (11 -20 yrs of age), $10 for children 10 and under. Please specify if you would like to substitute fish with chicken at the time of advance ticket purchase.

The event will also feature complimentary beer & wine, 50/50 raffle, Basket of Cheer, and door prizes. All proceeds from fundraising efforts and admission will support SCCC’s student veterans.

Guns in America – Topic of SCCC film/discussion

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-2Monday, October 24
10:30 am
Performing Arts Center

The highly regarded documentary film, 91%: A film About Gun Violence in America, takes on the hot topic of gun control. Many proposed mechanisms for controlling gun distribution are opposed by gun rights activists, but research shows that 91 percent of U.S. citizens support a universal background check for firearms purchases.

A screening of this very timely film will be held at Sussex County Community College (SCCC) at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 24, in the Performing Arts Center, One College Hill Road, Newton. The documentary is free and open to the community. A discussion with filmmaker John Richie will follow.

“Gun Violence in America is epidemic” says William McGovern, program coordinator for the Criminal Justice and Fire Science Technology programs at SCCC.  “From homicides in Chicago to mass shootings at schools, we as a nation need a better solution to preventing tragedies that happen over 300 times a day in our communities. We look forward to presenting this important – and timely – documentary.”

The film was produced and directed by John Richie, a writer/director/producer based out of New Orleans. In 2004, he began his film career working in the camera department of many large Hollywood films. Ritchie found his passion in documentary filmmaking in 2006 working on Spike Lee’s When the Levees Broke, the 5 part HBO series about Hurricane Katrina’s effect on the people of the Gulf South. Shortly after this experience, John embarked on making his own films centered on social justice issues with a focus on gun violence and policy.

His newest film, 91%, is being released this year through The Cinema Guild. 91% examines Americans overwhelming support for comprehensive background checks on all gun sales, Congress’s failure to pass any meaningful legislation to date, and how it affects our public health.

This work has led Richie into working on projects with the Sierra Club, City of New Orleans, and The Louisiana Endowment for The Humanities. He’s known for his ability to bring honesty in the telling of difficult stories while maintaining the integrity of the people and the truth.

Photo: John Richie, Filmmaker

Documentary Film on PTSD in Police/First Responders

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code9Wednesday, November 9
7:00-9:00 p.m, Performing Arts Center.

The Sussex County affiliate of NAMI NJ (National Alliance on Mental Illness) and Sussex County Community College (SCCC) and their Criminal Justice/Fire Science Technology Department are partnering to present the documentary film, “Code 9, Officer Needs Assistance” free of charge at the Performing Arts Center, One College Hill Road, Newton NJ on Wednesday, November 9, 2016 from 7:00-9:00 p.m.

The film spotlights PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) among police and first responders, which is a major challenge, though vastly overlooked and slow to be acknowledged.

The lives of filmmaker Deborah Louise Ortiz and her husband were overturned once he retired from the police force after twenty-two years of service. He was a highly-decorated New York State trooper and former federal agent with the DEA drug enforcement task force Dreams of a happy retirement were shattered, as he fought daily battles with his demons, creating a constant nightmare for his family.

It was then that she decided to create a documentary film to raise awareness and open up the conversation in order to break down stigma, so that those suffering would feel more comfortable seeking help. Ortiz also became determined to seek solutions to this problem.

“We did not understand what was happening to my husband because his disintegration was never addressed in the countless hours of training he received during the course of his career,” explains Ortiz. “They never warned him of the psychological dangers involved in police work. His superiors never asked him if he was okay after he experienced a traumatic incident (and there were many). They never mentioned or recognized the reality of PTSD, because PTSD wasn’t supposed to afflict the cops. Cops were supposed to just take it all in stride and go on to the next horror.”

Experts interviewed in the film estimate up to 20 percent of police officers across the nation suffer from PTSD. In the course of filming, Ortiz came to realize that fire and emergency medical personnel were equally susceptible to the disorder.

Bill McGovern, M.A., Program Coordinator for Criminal Justice and Fire Science Technology at SCCC will participate in the presentation and Question and Answer segment following the film, along with Bob Cubby, a Sussex County resident and retired Jersey City Police Captain, who is one of the police officers interviewed in Code 9.

NAMI Sussex Executive Trustee Marjorie Strohsahl says, “Not only is it important for police and first responders (active and retired) to view this film, but it is especially important for their families, friends and the general public to see this documentary. It is hoped that a greater understanding of what these men and women experience in their line of duty will help to bust the stigma and encourage them to seek the services and support they need.”

The film has  garnered a number of awards: Winner of both the Best Documentary and the Audience Choice-Feature from the Tampa Bay Underground Film Festival, the IndieFEST Film Award of Merit, and the Laurel of Excellence from the TBAE. Currently, discussions are underway to have the story of the Ortiz family’s struggle with PTSD made into a major motion-picture, available in theaters everywhere.

NAMI Sussex is a co-sponsor of this Code 9 event. The affiliate and NAMI affiliates throughout NJ provide free family education programs and support groups. For more information, call 973-214-0632 or email Visit to locate other affiliates within NJ.

Learn more about the National Alliance on Mental Illness at It is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for millions of Americans affected by mental illness by educating, advocating, listening and leading in thousands of communities across the United States.

Brochures on the S.H.A.R.E. program for first responders and their families provided by the non-profit organization Code9 Project will be available at the film screening and may be found on the website

For additional information about the November 9th event, please contact t 973-729-5153.